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Olives trees sustainable irrigation model using reclaimed water

4 June, 2050

Olives trees sustainable irrigation model using reclaimed water


Waste water source

The water comes from the wastewater treatedment of Montilla (Cordoba).

Distribution System

After treatment, the water is stored in the Tintin water pool. A pumping station extracts the water from this storage and distributes the water to the olive groves. The reclaimed water is applied by underground drip irrigation.

Farming system

Although the irrigators association cultivates fruit trees, vineyards and olive trees, only the olive trees are irrigated with reclaimed water.

Waste water treatment description

Nutrient removal : none
Pesticide removal : none
Disinfection : UV disinfection along with nanofiltration
Suspended solids removal : none
Other : The effluent from Montilla’s wastewater plant undergoes a water treatment with decantation among others. Within the Reutivar project an optimisation of the treatment units will be performed in order to improve the water quality going to the Titin storage pool.  Furthermore, ultrasound will be used to control the microalgae in the storage pool.


In Andalusia the total amount of reclaimed water allowed for irrigation in the Guadalquivir area amounts 20hm³. This is only for the irrigation of olive trees. Another 20 hm³ is allowed in the Mediterranean area for the irrigation of golf courts and greenhouses.

Extent of the agricultural beneficiaries

Starting in the growing season of 2019, 635 hectares of olive trees have access to reclaimed water. This envolves 110 farmers.


Cost related with reclaimed water operations is estimated in € 254,980.

Type of agreement

The farmers are grouped in the irrigation communitiy 'Comunidad de Regantes del Tintín'

Scientific results

Alcaide Zaragoza,C., Fernández Garcia, I., González Perea, R., Camacho Poyato, E. & Rodríguez Díaz, J. (2019) REUTIVAR: Model for Precision Fertigation Scheduling for Olive Orchards Using Reclaimed Water. Water 2019, 11(12), 2632

Additional information

The Reutivar project develops a mobile application in order to advise farmers in real time about the optimal irrigation rates using reclaimed water for the olive groves. This aims to maximize the efficiency and the use of water and fertilizers.




Type of initiative
Operational group
Waste water source
Waste water treatment
Desinfection, Other
Farming system
Permanent crops
Application use
Irrigation of food crops to be eaten raw, Irrigation of processed food crops
Irrigation method
Sub-surface irrigation, Drip irrigation
Implementation stage
Initial implementation